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Despite EARLY GRAVE Smoked Porter being a fairly ominous name, I'm finding the graphics have somewhat of an ambiguous nature. Is the figure a Destroyer laying waste to all that's around him? Or is it a Savior reaching out to pull you from the ruins? Based on the reactions I get from people, it's all a matter of perspective. And perhaps what medication they're on, as well. This porter boasted grains smoked with beechwood, hickory and cherrywood. The beer was delicious and beyond being just smokey. It was apocalyptic.

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Lucky Devil Belgian Strong Ale was brewed with juniper and coriander for a nice, punchy summer ale that was as close as you could get to gin & tonic while still drinking beer. Since the Belgian Strong style was really put on the map by Duvel, which is Flemish for Devil, I decided to stick with the demonic theme for the name and concept. It was a natural fit for my Demons Down logo. Perhaps, I should have put six dots on the other sides of the dice...

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I'd love to say that this beer was based on my vision for world peace right from the beginning but it wasn't. Fact is, I went through a dozen failed concepts before realizing that this Simcoe-fueled IPA could actually have no other name than SIMPATICO COEXISTENCE. It was right there in the name of the hop the whole time: SIMpatico COExistence. Now, can't we all just get along?

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Doesn't it seem like a lot of the really good things in Life are forbidden in some way? Well, this beer really isn't forbidden but letting it age appropriately is well worth having some patience (I hope.) Verboten Spiced Black Stout was brewed with molasses, all-spice, black pepper and orange peel. The artwork ultimately reminded me of my teenage years decades ago staring at heavy metal album covers for hidden meaning. Although, now that I think about it, I still do that...

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Vanilla Bean Cream Stout was brewed with vanilla beans, nutmeg and non-fermentable sugar to give it a slightly sweet creaminess that reminded me of old-time ice cream parlors. Vintage signs are always fun so I went retro with it and even threw in a nice twisted creamy head on top of the stout. I feel like I should be wearing a paper hat.

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Kolchak: The Night Stout is a tribute to the the awesomely dark, seventies cult classic, Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Every week, Carl, the reporter would investigate, pry and eventually tangle with stranglers, ghosts, werevolves and other assorted creatures of supernatural origin. My version is protecting himself from the spirits of coffee, coconut, vanilla and cacao with the blessed Demons Down Brewing logo as his specter swatter.

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Old Soul Coffee Stout is a tribute to Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) the late great novelist, poet and short story writer. Buk was was known for his raw, edgy style and the brutal honesty he brought to all that he wrote. When asked for his thoughts on the meaning of life, Bukwoski replied "We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our education system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us."

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The standout feature of this IPA recipe was the fact that it boasted six different hop varieties. Since I grew up watching too much television, the number six immediately makes me think of those straight-laced Brady kids. Six kids, six hops- why not? And so, The Bitter Bunch was born. I wonder how much Alice got paid to dote on those kids day in and day out with a nary a day off or even a shot at a spin-off series of her own ... oh, and this label received an Honorable Mention in Grog Tag's 2017 Homebrew Label Contest and so they showered me with grains and hops, oh my!

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I'm total fanboy when it comes to the right kind of bad movies. Exploitation flicks can be tons of low budget, bad acting fun. Prison movies are a fave. The MANGOED HEAT label is a montage of prison movie imagery. Recognize any elements? The Heat mentioned in so many of the movie titles hints at the level of action and sex but in this case refers to the butt-load of habaneros that went into this brew. Sorry, no nudity. The fiery peppers were in good company with some healthy poundgae of mango to balance things out. I wonder if it's normal to think about things like shooting a pepper out of a shotgun through a piece of fruit...

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MeatHead Bacon Dubbel label won the Silver Prize in Brew Your Own Magazine's Best Homebrew Beer Label 2016 contest. Not everyone recognizes the iconic facial hair but old souls and TVlanders will. All In The Family reruns still hold up for me and I watch them via rabbit ears and foil for the full seventies effect. I even based the drabness of the background on the Bunker's living room decor. Great, now I feel like eating bacon...

DISCLAIMER: Rob Reiner is awesome so please don't sue me, sir. The world owes you a huge debt for bringing us This is Spinal Tap.

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This ale featured apples and cinnamon since it was intended as a seasonal beer for Autumn. I let the apple represent its classic role as temptation and leapt from Autumn to Fall, ending up with Demon's DownFall. Some people got upset with me over the biblical references on the label, so I immediately added this beer back on to my brew list for a double batch.

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Bad Little Gose Girl was adapted from an old pulp novel cover, undoubtedly a precautionary tale of some type. What our starlet didn't expect though is that in this tale her antagonists are the very ingredients that feed her sour obsession! Salt, Lemon and Limes are back to collect what she owes. The wayward tart woefully grinds away at the coriander under foot as she knows how her story must end...

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Pumpkin Party Massacre was brewed as a result of a Halloween collaboration between myself and my fellow mischief-makers, Robb and Tony. Being movie geeks, we spent brew night recollecting about the slasher genre that dominated horror in the eighties. No matter where the partially clothed young ladies decided to sleep for the night, you could be damned sure there was going to be a bloodbath of some type shortly after the third or fourth soapy shower scene.

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Ok, so Dead Witness isn't exactly the feel-good label of the summer. I get it. It started as a simple play on words. Since the style was a Belgian Wit, it was a relatively short leap to the word Witness. Granted, the witness didn't HAVE to be Dead but she didn't have to be in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time either. But she was...

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This beer had quite a few unique qualities, all of which practically demanded to be mentioned on the marquee. It was a dry Irish red ale made with rye. I juggled the adjectives forward and back and found that The Red, The Rye and The Irish had a nice syllabic connection with Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The concept was born. I love the look of the movie posters that advertised the entire Man with No Name trilogy. I kept the label bare-bones opting for silhouettes to minimize detail and to set a tone of starkness. The background was adapted from the Clash's Give 'em Enough Rope album cover continuing the theme of hanging that's so prevalent in the those spaghetti western classics.

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The addition of Rye to this IPA made such an impression that it made it to the title. As any irrational mind knows, zombies are always on the rise somewhere. In fact, there's one now in the corner of the label with rye bread in hand looking for a toaster. But spelling humor and phonetics aside, the Undead RyeZing label was essentially a thinly veiled excuse to create a delightfully creepy landscape using an assortment of blending modes. It seemed like the RYEt thing to do...

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Slugworth Chocolate Stout was actually made with Hershey's chocolate but unfortunately there's no hippy, trippy psychedelic movies based on Mr. Goodbar so we ended up in Wonkaville. By the end of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, it's revealed that Wonka's arch rival Arthur Slugworth is actually the kind and gentle Mr. Wilkinson, one of the factory's fudge lords. I can barely express the disappointment I felt when I first realized that! I have to admit I enjoy a good cinematic villain wrecking havoc, now and again. But despite his actual goodness, I felt Slugworth deserved his day in the sun even though he only dabbled on the dark side.

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Up in Smoke is my homage to the great comedic duo, Cheech & Chong. Since the beer was a smoked ale, I immediately thought of the classic film that blazed a new trail for lowbrow humor at the movies. There's several different movie posters for Up in Smoke but my favorite features the two stoners themselves being rolled up inside the cigarette paper. So, why not hops and barley? Anyone got a light?

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THE ECSTACY OF GOLD is named after Ennio Morricone’s epic score from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I went with the concept of gold since the sole hop in this IPA is El Dorado, also fabled to be a lost city of gold. Just about every spaghetti western ever made has something to do with either the quest for lost gold, stealing someone's gold or getting shot over some gold. I kept the imagery and color palette super simple in respect to the great movie posters produced by this genre. Perhaps, I should start dragging around a coffin filled with beer... Django would approve.

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Pepper beers can be pretty divisive. Some people just don't like spiciness. I happen to like a good kicky brew so I've been making variations of this Jalapeno Saison for quite some time before coming up with PINEAPPLE PEPPER SPRAY! The fruit really balanced out the peppers, pleasing the spice wimps and even delighting some non-beer drinkers. So, if anyone still has a problem with the spiciness, they're gonna get sprayed in the face with jalapeno juice and be left begging for one of these beers to douse themselves in.

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A nice pale, wheat beer needed not only an interesting name, but one that represented one of our great nation's finest exports, racial epithets. Pale Face harkens back to the time of the Plymouth Rock settlers who just couldn't stay on their own side of the tracks with their loud music and boomboxes. They were met with arrows, tomahawks and ethnic slurs courtesy of the continent's then-current residents. Imagine the nerve of some people not receiving their brutal conquerors with more respect!

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Dark Corner could mean different things to different people. A place to hide. A time to think. A moment of introspection or deep contemplation. The important thing is that there are several cats invading your personal space at all times.

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I was looking for a movie theme to wrap around my peanut butter porter when my girlfriend suggested The Nutty Professor or as it is known to me now, The Nutty Porter. To show proper respect to both versions of the comedy classic, I included both Jerry Lewis and Eddie Murphy hard at work in the lab. I have no clue what they're experimenting on but I certainly hope the human peanut eruption was caused by all the roasted peanuts I stuffed into this recipe.

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Bourbon Street of course is my homage to the wonderfully musical city of New Orleans. The sweet sound of jazz can be heard on any street corner. This Belgian Dubbel was fermented in an old wooden whisky barrel and by old wooden whisky barrel I mean, I poured some Jim Beam over wood chips in a container I got from the dollar store. And the music plays on...

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Bloody Blonde Slumber Party Ale-Another precautionary tale. Our golden-haired friend should've been happy enough to bunk with her giggling gal pals looking at Tiger Beat magazines all night but that just wasn't enough. Some girls always need more. On this night, blondie will learn the hard way not to steal feminine supplies from her friend's medicine cabinet!

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I'm proud to have been chosen from a host of candidates to design a label for Palm Harbor brewers, de Bine Brewing. They named the beer Lupulus Juicimus after its incredibly juicy, hoppiness. The name is well deserved. I aimed for the juicy element and thought of hops getting smashed with its bitter essence squirting through the air. Since it is a double IPA, I imagined two fists pounding away, doing the dirty work. Since this beer was distributed commercially, I had to follow strict labeling guidelines set forth by the government as well as honoring the creative input from the fine folks at de Bine. See, I can follow rules... when I want to. Best DIPA ever.

Created By
Anthony Salmeri
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DemonsDownBrewing@gmail.com

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